CINCINNATI - The deadline looms: Under the Affordable Care Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law in 2010, U.S. citizens who do not have health insurance by Monday, March 31, will be fined on their 2014 federal income taxes.
There is breathing room for some.
- If you start an application on or before March 31 but have not finished it by the end of the day, you get more time to complete the enrollment process, said Vanessa Rose, Kynector Program Regional Supervisor at Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission.
- People in 10 general categories of special circumstances will also get extra time. READ MORE
For everyone else, the penalty is federally mandated for all states, said Phyllis McKeown, Indiana Navigator and Clerical Team Leader for Community Mental Health Center, Inc., in Lawrenceburg. As a navigator, she is certified to offer assistance with applications for health coverage.
With the open enrollment period coming to a close, here are 9 things you should know:
1. Some individuals are exempt from the health care coverage requirement. List of exemptions .
2. The fee for individuals without health coverage in 2014 is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child or one percent of an individual’s yearly income, whichever is higher. The penalty is expected to increase in future years.
3. Changes can be made to insurance plans after March 31.
4. Individuals can enroll for insurance outside of the open enrollment period if they experience a qualifying event, including marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, loss of job or moving to another state.
5. Many states operate their own exchanges, while others partner with the federal exchange or default to the federal exchange.
- Ohio and Indiana default to the federal exchange
- Kentucky created its own Kynect exchange
6. There are several ways to enroll, including paper applications. This method is not recommended because the deadline is so near.
- Ohio and Indiana residents can apply online at Healthcare.gov or by calling the federal marketplace call center at 1-800-318-2596.
- Kentucky residents can sign up online at Kynect , by calling 1-855-459-6328 or contacting local community action offices.
7. Here is what you will need on hand in order to sign up:
- Number of individuals in a household
- Birth dates and social security numbers and proof of income for everyone on the application
- Proof of citizenship, a birth certificate or a military record may be required in some cases
8. According to HealthCare.gov, 83 percent of those signing up for health care in the marketplace, or exchange, are eligible for a break on costs. Find out if you qualify.
9. The next open enrollment period begins Nov. 15, 2014 and ends Jan. 15, 2015.
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